The 22 Best Movies of 2021, According to Vogue Editors

.@VogueMagazine editors weighed in on their favorite movies from this year.

10/22/2021 8:51:00 AM

.VogueMagazine editors weighed in on their favorite movies from this year.

After 2020’s scourge of shuttered theaters, delayed shoots, and pushed-back premieres, returning to the movies this year has been nothing short of euphoric. Read on for what Vogue’s writers and editors have seen and loved the most.

’s coming of age story, set in Naples in the 1980s, is as much a tribute to the magical eccentricities of classic Italian film-making as it is to the southern city that is a vibrant character in its own right. The title refers to another force that shapes this film—the legendary Argentinian football (that would be, soccer) player Diego Maradona who made Naples his adopted home after he began playing for the city in 1984. (Maradona attributed one of his most famous goals ‘a little to the hand of god.’)

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The Hand of God,the film, has the slightly dada flourishes that distinguish a Sorrentino work, and gained him breakthrough acclaim inThe Great Beauty.But his aesthetic is also more subdued here; this is not realism exactly, but a romantic, loving portrait of a time and place.”

How to Watch: In theaters December 3 and on Netflix December 15.The HumansWhen, inThe Humans—playwright Stephen Karam’s adaptation of his 2016 Tony Award–winning play—three generations of a Pennsylvania Irish Catholic family gather in a lower Manhattan apartment for Thanksgiving dinner, a celebration becomes a comedy of errors and then something more ominous­—a descent into recrimination and simmering dissatisfactions. Does that sound like not much fun?

The Humans, Karam’s directorial debut, is, in fact, a frightening film, one in which the apartment (leaking, creaking, dimly lit) becomes a kind of haunted house, but laughter comes as often as the shudders do. And the performances—by an ensemble cast that includes Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer, Beanie Feldstein, Steven Yeun, Jayne Houdyshell, and June Squibb—are uniformly spectacular.

—T.A.How to Watch: In theaters and on Showtime November 24.The Lost DaughterIt surely wasn’t Maggie Gyllenhaal’s dream to shoot her directorial debut,The Lost Daughter,an adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s 2006 novel, in the depths of a COVID lockdown. And yet this haunting movie, filmed under strict precautions last winter, achieves an uncanny mix of sun-splashed escapism and claustrophobic dread—just the right combination for a story about the dark side of parental attachment. Olivia Colman, in an indelible performance, plays a vacationing academic named Leda, squarely in middle age, who sees her Greek-island idyll spoiled by a boisterous American family that has descended upon the resort. There’s a young mother in the group—​

, alluring and unhappy—who catches Leda’s eye and reminds her of choices she made years ago. (Leda’s younger self is played by Jessie Buckley: sexy, ambitious, impulsive.)The Lost Daughteris a tour de force of acting and an examination of female desire, restlessness, and rage.

—T.A.How to Watch: In select theaters December 17 and on Netflix December 31.The Most Beautiful Boy in the WorldContentIn February, Macabasco reviewed Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri’s affecting documentary about Björn Andrésen, the star of 1971’s

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Death in Venicewhom director Luchino Visconti declared the “most beautiful boy in the world.” “Weaving effectively between archival material and the present,” Macabascowrote, “the film unfolds with surprising poignancy as it sketches Andrésen's remarkable but tragic path, studded with trauma and tragedies both in and out of the limelight. Many experiences are left gently unfilled—at a gay club on the French Riveria where drinks flowed, in Paris apartments supplied by shadowy men, onstage in Japan after he’s given unidentified pills to put him at ease. And yet, the suggestion is enough. That this story of objectification centers on a man makes it more uncommon but no less poignant.”

Parallel MothersContent​​The delight of a new Pedro Almodóvar film is its unpredictability. Will it be transgressive, madcap, hilarious, chilly, erotic—or all of these things? The 72-year-old Spanish director’s last movie,Pain and Glory,was startlingly autobiographical, and featured a glowingly human performance from Antonio Banderas as a director in an emotional spiral.

Parallel Mothersfeels like a sibling to that lovely, elegiac film—given the magisterial performance at its center from another longtime Almodóvar muse, Penélope Cruz. She’s Janis, a photographer and one of two new mothers in a domestic melodrama that offers jolting twists and reversals. Cruz’s firework charisma lights the proceedings, as does that of newcomer

Milena Smit, who plays Ana, a younger mother, whose life becomes knotted with Janis’s. The movie is bursting with color, talk, cooking, and love affairs. It’s about the bonds and derangements of motherhood, and—as the shadow of politics descends—the deceptive comforts of bourgeois life.

—T.A.How to Watch: In theaters December 24. Read more: Vogue Runway »

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